The ocean in the River Valley? Is that really possible? YES!

Since April, the Vancouver Aquarium’s Education Team has been on a national tour with their celebrated mobile ‘wet lab.’ For the last six months, this signature project has celebrated Canada’s milestone year by visiting 150 schools, camps and community groups from coast to coast. On September 30, the AquaVan brought this unique flagship initiative to the Edmonton Valley Zoo. Over 900 people interacted with and participated in the AquaVan activities.

The AquaVan 150 features a 28-foot (8.5m) mobile aquarium with resident creatures such as sea stars, sea cucumbers, crabs, sea anemones, and other fascinating invertebrates from the Pacific Coast. These animals serve as ambassadors for aquatic life and help to bring the ocean to Canadians regardless of where they live.

In addition to experiencing the thrill of hands-on encounters at the touch tanks, visitors will also learn about local history and regional environmental issues. The AquaVan 150 team delivers interactive and immersive programming to visitors of all ages, focusing on how humans are impacting our rivers, lakes, and oceans, and the important role Canadians can play to ensure these resources are healthy and abundant for future generations.

As part of the programming, the Edmonton Valley Zoo and AquaVan 150 coordinated a Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup! Each year, Edmonton Valley Zoo staff host this event to pick up debris and clean the banks of the North Saskatchewan River. On September 30th, guided by an Edmonton Valley Zoo interpreter, many zoo visitors participated in a cleanup along The Wander Trail and around different parts of the Zoo.

In 2002, the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup became a national conservation initiative and cleanups started to take place in every province. This event is now recognized as one of the largest, direct action conservation programs in Canada!

This Zoominescence, the theme of our artistic competition is Canada 150! You can help support the revitalization of the Zoo, and celebrate Canada 150, by becoming a Zoominescence Sponsor today!